Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baby Kay & Full Day Playgroup

Well, it is not an easy decision, but let's do it and see how it turns out... Baby Kay finally got a confirmed placement at the playgroup

Screen shot 2011-01-27 at AM 09.04.29.png

Another month, our baby Kay will be 18 months old, and he is eligible to enter the playgroup @ Lorna Whiston Preschool.  Now, the question is, should we place him in half day class or a full day class?


When Jay Jay was 18 months old, we placed him in the half day playgroup class.  So, in the morning, he gets the chance to watch TV - his favorites Playhouse Disney at home... I am sure that he learns quite a fair bit from these educational cartoons....

playhouse disney.jpg

So, if we placed baby Kay in Full Day playgroup class, then, he will lose to chance to watch TV every day.  So, will that make any different at all?  Of course, he still get to watch it during weekends, but will that be enough?  Let's wait and see.

A full day class also means that the teachers gets more time guiding the kids and baby Kay definitely will make a lot of friends there, especially where the big Ko-Ko Jay Jay is just around the corner.  I am sure Jay Jay will be very proud to tell every one else that his brother where about...

But it also means that the kids will have lesser chance to be educated under a third influences which is the from domestics helper.   So, I guess that is good too, so that you now have either the teachers in school or parents at home teaching the kids.  Which I think a lot of people has forgotten about that influences.  It will also makes the kids more independent too.

Oh Well, let's see how it goes when March 1 come.  And lets see how our little prince take that level of changes and hope he can quickly adapt to it.




Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Bought a Toy for Jay Jay after Our Cruise Ship trip

So, we took our first cruise ship trip ... and guess what did I buy for Jay Jay after that trip?


A toy Cruise Ship of course.  Its a toy we picked up at Bukit Timah plaza.  It does not cost much, and it looks really fragile.  But it does the trick.  It helps Jay Jay to have a very deep impression about cruise ship.

Especially, when you let him play with it in the bath tub.


Yeah... Yipee... What a happy Jay.  :)  This is my cruise ship.


Remember, every time after a significant trip.  Always buy something relates back to the trip.  So that it can make your kid happy and remember what he saw in the trip.  For example, buy a toy train after the Japan trip, buy toy animals after the Zoo trip, and so on.  Have fun!


Deco the Chinese New Year Decorations with your Kids

OK.... I used to make a lot of comments on how people put up the Chinese New Year decorations.. not so nice comments....

When you have kids, the situations are a little bit different.  You want your kids to feel the culture, to understand the festive seasons, etc. Therefore, you will not care what your home going to be like after you put up all the decorations...


We bought some small LED lanterns that has ON/OFF switches.  So, we decorate our main gate.  At night, we lid it up and it looks cool.


Hope that it is not too spooky at night.


Of course, we must have two bigger lanterns to welcome our guests..


Ya... baby Kay, I know you are very helpful...


The usual Gong Xi Fa Chai banner is a must too...


We bought this safety banner and place it behind our main door...


This year is rabbit year, and rabbit is good for those who has dog as his animal sign.  So, we must have the rabbits... especially this pair to welcome you at the door...


Not to forget some under the big bright lamp...


OK... Done... Most of the locations of the decors are decided by Jay Jay.  So, when you get a chance to come and see it, don't laugh too loud... But I am very sure our sons, Jay & Kay enjoys it... as they have put in a lot of hard work to put up the decors...


Never afraid to let your kid to decide what to do and how to decorate the house.  Try not to reject them, so that they can feel that they play an important role in decorating the home.  Have fun!



Teacher Says My Son Writing Grip is Weak...

One morning, when I send Jay to the school, one of his new teacher told me the way how Jay Jay hold a pencil and write is a bit weak.  She asked us to let Jay Jay have more practice at home to learn how to grip tightly.  She also commented that Jay uses too much space to write...  I was not happy at all to hear that!  May be she is new....  I was even not happy when I hear she said that "Jay was the slowest in class"...


For goodness sake!  Jay is only 4+ years old!  And I am very proud to see him write his own Chinese Name - 廖新杰.  And yet the demands from the teachers are a bit too much...

So, I think let's see how this go.   I am not going to make Jay to practice more.  I think he should learn as much as he can learn from school and when he is not in school, he should take a small break and do what he likes to do.  I don't care if after 2 years later, he still have a weak grip for writing... but the most important thing is not to assert extra pressure...

I already sent Jay to full day school, and to him, this is a change in life.  Means, no playing toys at home, no playing with baby Kay at home in the morning, so, I don't think it is write to even try to force him to write or do more than what he suppose to do.

I remember, I only learn this in K2, and K2 is the only kindergarden I have ever gone to before primary school.  And how did we - the parents make it, learn how to write back then?  So, my guess is It is OK for Jay to slowly pick up his focus in writing... but the most important thing is to be happy all the time.



Jay & His Music Lessons - Updates

Its been three weeks since Jay took his first Violin & music lesson.  Although it is only a 30 minutes session each week, I think Jay has learn a little bit about music...


Still, I have no clue where Jay develops the strong interest on violin.  But if he likes it, I will let him take the lesson.  I even bought a violin from TaoBao.Com for him... and it's only S$40 for the size 18 violin.  Bear in mind, he will grow and when he grows, you need to change the violin size for him.

We made him perform in front of Auntie Amanda during her birthday celebration.  IMG_3749.JPG

Although we could not make up what is he playing, but it was a good feeling... He is just 4+ years old... Let him have all the fun...  The teacher said when Jay plays the violin, his body shakes a lot... So, I did dare to tell him that it was my fault... because I let Jay play besides Venesa Mae on youtube... hahahaha

Screen shot 2011-01-23 at AM 10.34.57.png

And, it is also a good feeling to learn together with Jay.  Me and my wife never when for proper music training, but from here we learn the CDE-FGAB, the bass and treble, the timing, etc etc...


Always expose your kids to what they want to do, what their interest is...  And who knows you may get lucky and have a musician son... 加油!  Jay Jay!





Jay Jay & Birthday Cakes Candles

This is how to make your kid happy!  Make him blow candles for your friends' birthday.

its like having birthday every single month, or week or days...


We bought a small cake and ask Auntie Amanda to come, and she didn't know that we have place 35 candles on it.  That is a lot of candles.


A week later, we bought another cake for Uncle Terrence... and it is his birthday this time...  And again, we need to lid up 37 candles... There is enough candles for Jay Jay to blow...


However, mummy did not do a great job, as when she pull Jay Jay to out from the Tang's family photo sessions, Jay Jay cries.


But not to worry, Jay Jay gets to blow most of the candles after the birthday song.

Always try to find ways to make your kid remember his childhood.  I am very sure Jay will go to school and tell all his buddies that he has help blow the candles of his uncles and aunties.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jay and the Library

Some how Jay Jay loves to visit the library. He almost wanted to go to the library every week.

Yes. It is much cheaper to go to the library instead of buying new books. The kid get his chance to browse slowly and pick the books he wanted to see.

Look at the selection he has chosen. Mostly are train, bus, constructions and so on. In both Chinese and English.

However, I found that the library does not have a good classification systems to classify the children books. Also there is not so much of reference books for kids too. But no complaint, it's good enough.

By the way the third floor cafe is quite good. We always let Jay sleep there and have a nice afternoon tea and ice cream.

If your kid loves to go to library, that's a good thing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone4

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Opening Bank Account in Malaysia

Its been a long while I open a bank account in Malaysia.  I actually went into JB and open an account today.  Here is my experience.   Thought of sharing it ...

1.  When I enter the bank, the reception informed me that their computer systems is down, and is unable to open any new account.

2.  So, I said, where is the nearest branch, then I go there and open new account.  She said, "no, the whole country computer systems is down".

3.  I asked, since when the system is down?  She said, 1.5 hour ago.  My thoughts are, that is so serious.

4.  So, I fill in the forms and went for lunch.  45 minutes came back and the system is just back online.  So, its a 2 hours nationwide downtime.  Cool.

5.  I got queue number 4 to open account.  There are 5 person downstairs.  And only 1 person able to process new account.  And she served Queue #1 for at least 30 minutes.  Then, she called for #2 and #3, unfortunately, they are run out of patient and gone already.


6.  So, its my turn finally.  I am not sure what will Queue #9 do... behind me... wait for 1-2 hours?  hahaha

7.  I sat down and I notice the computer screen.  Its a very familiar Windows operating systems screen.  wait a minute, it looks like a Windows 3.1 type of windows interface.  What?  It is definitely not XP type of computer.

8.  Wow.  The IC smart chip actually stored the finger prints as well as some info.  And after you scanned your finger print, the Windows 3.1 lookalike screen pop up "Authenticated" message.  And a print button prints out all our bio info (stored on the Malaysian IC card) onto the application form.  I guess that is advanced.  But isn't there some private info on the IC that shouldn't be printed?  hmmm... I guess is fine.

9.  The interface and the data base really looks very primitive.

10.  Then, she program and gave me my ATM card.  There you go.  Your password is 123456.  Please go to the ATM machine to change password.  OK.  I will do that later.  I look behind and see if there are people overhead what is my password.

11.   Then, she program and gave my mom her ATM card.  There you go.  Your password is 123456.  Please change the PIN at the ATM machine.  Hmmm... why can't there just install a machine for you to change it right away?  So inconvenient.  And why they have to make the password so easy to remember?

12.  What about my Internet banking account.  OK.  Done.  She said.  Your userID is the bank ATM card number, and then you key in the password 123456.  Again, it seems like all ATM cards, Internet account are using the great 123456 as the default password.  What is this?  Security???

13.  Then, she collect RM10 for stamp duty, and ask me how much I want to deposit.  So I said RM500.  OK.  I gave her the money, i.e. RM510.  She collected the RM10 for the stamp duty, and said, sir, you need to go there and take a queue number and then go upstairs the counters. WHAT???  Why can't I do this at the same place?

14.  So, we went up and there are 10 people in front of us, and we just want for our turn to bank in the money.

15.  At home, when I get back, and login to change the password, then, it strike me... where is the security token?  I guess they do not have that...

So, as you can see... I am not that please with the service.  Especially when you talk about opening a new account, it is like customer acquisition, etc.  But this bank really is something... take all the sweet time to open the new account.

Learn new things every day.  Do lower your expectation when you go open a new bank account in Malaysia.  I think Singapore is much safer. hahaha




Saturday, January 8, 2011

Jay Jay in Full Day Class

Enroll your son or daughter to a full day pre-school class can be easy as it sounds.


Your son may looks happy on the first day, but please be careful and be sensible and try to understand his or her feelings on the 2nd and 3rd day.

Because changes from an afternoon half day class to a full day class is indeed a huge change for your child.  Always be mindful about their feelings on the first week, hold his/her hand on the first week, talk to him/her on the first week and slowly guide him/her back.

You can see that Jay was happy on the first day.  But on the third day, he started to show signs of sadness.  His tears drop finally on the third day when I sent him to school.  He was begging me "PaPa, can I sleep at home?"

So, it is time to do damage control.  Let the mommy do the job.  Bring him to school and observe the surroundings, and try to understand why his tears drop...

1.  Try bring him to school not so early, so that he can be seen as arriving at school together with all the children.  Then, him can talk talk talk to his friends.

2.  Try doing things differently, such as we Gel his hair.  Ask him look nice or not?  Then, he has a topic to talk about in school.  Everyday must find a good topic for him.

3.  He was sad to see the AM class grabbing their bags and go home.  He asked why he cannot go home?  So, talk to him on why and how?  Make him understand the reason.  A 4 year old kids is very different nowadays.

4.  Ask him what he wants to bring to school for his napping time?  And we found one, he is bringing his brother's blanket to school so to sleep better in class.

5.  Let him play at night, have much fun with his brother, Kay.  He miss his brother.  He used to spend the whole morning playing with him.

6.  The same goes to TV.  His favorite Playhouse Disney programs.  Record it down, during weekends, let him have all the time to watch it.

7.  Try create new things, buy new things and relates it all back to the changes he has gone thru.

8.  Understand his feelings, make him feels better, now, I think he finally survive the first week, let's see how it goes for second week.



I cannot imagine how Kay Kay will survive that in 2 months time if he does get a seats in the full day class.  Hahahaha

The full day class actually gives Jay a lot of exposure to a lot of things such as Drama & Speech Class, Chinese Class and he gets to play with his friends a lot more.  So, that is why we think it is a good idea to place him under the full day class.

Guide to CinaGoods.Com is a purchasing agent who can help you to buy things from Taobao.Com.  Because Taobao.Com sellers usually do not accept overseas credit card, and they seldom ship overseas too, that is why you will need a purchasing agent to help you.  Consider them as a necessary "Middle Man" or "Concierge" who will help you to search your goods items in Chinese, talk to the seller in Chinese, order the goods in China, repack the goods and ship Internationally to your home.

Total Cost

A.  Cost of Goods - the price the seller selling you

B.  Local Delivery - usually RMB 15 per KG and can be different depending on items and shops

C.  8% Admin Fee charged by CinaGoods.Com over (A+B) - This is what CinaGoods.Com earn for living...

D.  International Delivery Charges, either EMS (DHL like), Registered Air Mail, or other methods

E.  Bank Money Transfer Fee of item C & D.  If you use DBS money transfer, it will be 0%.  If PayPal, it is 4%.


So, first thing to do is to register for an account on

You can find a Screen shot 2011-01-08 at AM 08.38.37.png(Register button) on the top right corner of the website (see the screenshot below)

Screen shot 2011-01-08 at AM 08.24.18.png


Fill in the necessary details to create a Login account and press "Register" Screen shot 2011-01-08 at AM 08.42.58.png

Screen shot 2011-01-08 at AM 08.41.53.png

Once the Login account has been created.  You can go to the HOME page, and login into your account.

Screen shot 2011-01-08 at AM 08.46.07.png


Once you are login, you will see your Username on the top right corner.

Screen shot 2011-01-08 at AM 08.48.02.png

Placing An Order

So, you still shop your goods from

When you see something you like on the TaoBao.Com, for example:   This nice handmade Transformers Optimus Prime doll... you COPY & PASTE the URL link into the order form of CinaGoods.Com.  i.e.  COPY this URL link as below ...

Screen shot 2011-01-08 at AM 08.51.40.png

So, you go back to, and go to the HOME page Screen shot 2011-01-08 at AM 08.54.28.png, and press the "Order Quickly" button as shown below.  (don't worry about the wrong spelling, Amy will fix that).

Screen shot 2011-01-08 at AM 08.54.58.png

You will be brought to the order form page.  Here, please fill in your receiver's details.  Who is going to receive these goods you buying from TaoBao.Com.  i.e.

Screen shot 2011-01-08 at AM 08.59.31.png

And you PASTE the URL link of the product you wish to buy from Taobao.Com in the Product1 row... and specify the quantity (i.e. num) and let them know if need a "Red" color in the remarks field.

Screen shot 2011-01-08 at AM 09.01.30.png

Once you key in the information, you can redo the above steps.  i.e. Buy more items from Taobao.Com or other websites.  Once you are ready, you can select "Save These Ten Products" at the bottom to save the order first in the database. Screen shot 2011-01-08 at AM 09.03.54.png


So, you can go grab a nice coffee, or spans to a few days to complete the list.  Once you are satisfy of the product you want to buy, then you can submit the list by pressing the "Submit the order" button.

Screen shot 2011-01-08 at AM 09.05.18.png

Submit Order

Once you have submit the order, the CinaGoods.Com agents will start looking at your order.  (only if and only you press the "Submit the order" button).

1.  They will start contacting the sellers to "Ask" them about the items you want to purchase.  They will usually get the cheapest local shipping method, which is normally RMB 15 per KG.

2.  If the goods are not available, out of stocks, CinaGoods.Com agent will contact you via email to inform you.

3.  Finally, once all the items on your list has been reviewed, and verified.  CinaGoods.Com will calculate the total cost of the goods plus its local delivery charges.  They will charge 8% on top of the total goods and local delivery charges as their Admin Fees.

4.  And you know have a few options to pay CinaGoods.Com.  Yes, you have to pay them first in order for them to place the order for you.  For Singaporean buyers, the best method is thru DBS money transfer.  This is 0% bank charge method.  For non-Singaporean buyers, sorry, you will need to pay by PalPal or Western Union.

5.  Once CinaGoods.Com confirms that you have pre-paid.  They will start ordering your items from all the buyers.

6.  Then, we wait for 1-2 weeks time for all your goods to arrive.

International Delivery

1.  When all your goods have arrived.  CinaGoods.Com will inspect the goods.  Those can be open, they will help you open and inspect the goods to see if they are in good condition.  For example, if you buy a lamp, they will plug it into the outlet to see if the lamp works or not.  If it does not work, they will inform you and return the goods to buyer and demand for a replace.  This service is good because it will give you a minimal insurance that the items will work. However, for those items that is wrapped nicely and hard to open, they will need to ask for your permission and advise on what to do.

2.  Once all the goods are OK.  Then, they will start to REPACK it into a box.  And weight it.  This is the total weight of your package.  This "Repacking" is very good because it will optimize the shipping cost. You can advise them to take out all boxes if necessary.  As those will cost extra space.

3.  Then, CinaGoods.Com agent will demand for the final payment which is the International Delivery charges  based on the total weight.  So, again, for Singaporean buyers, use the DBS to transfer the money.  For overseas, use PayPal or Western Union.  We will start offering different methods in each countries very soon.

4.  Once it is confirmed that you pay up the International Shipping Fees, then, they will sent the goods over.

5.  And you wait for 7-10 days for EMS service, or 14-20 days for registered Air Mail service, for your goods to arrive in Singapore.



1.  In case there are items that is out of stocks.  But you already pay, then, you may end up with excess payment.  They will first try to offset it to International payment.  If it is more, then, they can keep the money for you for your next purchase.  Or the can choose to return the money back to you.

2.  A sample of the full order looks something like this...

Screen shot 2011-01-08 at AM 09.22.34.png


That's all for now, folks.  Happy Shopping!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Some Important Tips when Buying from Taobao.Com

You are probably familiar with eBay - a similar site exists in China called Taobao 淘宝 (  On Taobao you can pretty much find anything you can imagine at very competitive prices.

Buying stuff on Taobao

First you do a search for the item you want to buy.  For example:  If you are looking for this brand of cosmetics, i.e. BB SKIN79 (I was told is a popular Korean brand).... You will get the below pages...

Screen shot 2011-01-06 at PM 08.12.45.png

Here, there are few things you will need to take note.  If you see the following logo...

Screen shot 2011-01-06 at PM 08.16.01.png

This usually means it has been verified as a genuine brand (not fake).  Also, it is available on Hitao (嗨淘), a subsidiary shop from TaoBao.Com that guarantee quality and branding.  Usually, it is safe to buy from these sites.

The next thing you could do is to SORT it by selling quantity within the last few days.  i.e.

Screen shot 2011-01-06 at PM 08.18.58.png


You can select to sort using price, credibility, and selling quantities.  In our example below, we sorted with selling quantities.  You can see that this company actually sold 7095 deals within the last few days.  So, a lot of people buying it.  So, what you do, is you click on the product and take a look if there is a lot of people complaint or comment on it.  Because there is no brand guarantee logo there.

Screen shot 2011-01-06 at PM 08.20.24.png

So, it is always based on these few things to determine if the goods are good or bad, is it fake, and so on.  You can check even on the selling records just to make sure that there is no fake transactions, etc.  But my advise is always buy from the brand guaranteed item, regardless if the price is higher a bit.